Official name of country: Kingdom of Norway
Official languages: Norwegian (bokmål and nynorsk) and Sami
Population: 4 920 305 (per 2011)
Size: 385 252 square kilometers
Currency: NOK (Norwegian kroner)
Form of government: Constitutional Monarchy
Head of state: His Majesty King Harald V
Head of government: Prime Minister Erna Solberg
Norway is a constitutional monarchy ruled by the democratically elected government responsible to the parliament (Stortinget).
The position of head of state is hereditary, and both sons and daughters can be appointed as successors to the throne.
Currently His Majesty King Harald V is Head of State, and in accordance with the constitution, he rules the country through a weekly council of
state-meeting with the government. In practise, the government is the decision maker acting as the King’s councellors,
and the monarch has very limited powers under the Norwegian constitution. The King appoints the government,
but the government is always formed by a majority of the parliament, or a group that has the parliament’s support.
A parliamentary system implies that the government is constitutionally answerable to, and dependent on the confidence of the parliament.
Thus power originates from the people, through parliament to the executive. This principle is in parliamentary systems around the world ensured by
a number of controls, such as a vote of no confidence and the right to call for new elections.
In Norway, the prime minister and his cabinet do not need a positive vote in the legislature to form a government and enter office,
but if the selected government is believed to have lost the parliament’s confidence, a vote of no confidence can discharge the government,
and it is up to the opposition to form a new alternative.
The Royal Norwegian Embassy in Afghanistan was established in Kabul in December 2001, originally as a two-person mission.
The first Norwegian resident ambassador in Afghanistan after the Taliban rule was H.E. Mr. Jan Erik Leikvang, who took up his post in October 2004.
He was then the the first Nordic resident ambassador to Afghanistan,
something which reflects the close and positive relationship between Afghanistan and Norway.
H.E. Mr. Leikvang was followed by H.E. Mr. Kåre R. Aas in May 2008. Since July 2010, the ambassador of Norway to Afghanistan is H. E. Mr. Tore Hattrem.
The Norwegian ambassador leads a staff of Norwegian diplomats in Kabul, including two development advisors stationed in the Norwegian-led PRT in Faryab province.
For more information, please explore the Embassy of Norway’s official website:
To read Ambassador Tore Hattrem’s blog (in Norwegian), please visit:
Since the end of the Cold War, international peace operations have played an increasing role in the work of the UN and NATO.
Being heavily committed to the UN and NATO, Norway is required to supply these with troops.
Norwegian troops are in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force.
Isaf was established on December 6th 2001 in accordance with a resolution in the United Nations Security Council: the Bonn Agreement.
Isaf operates in Afghanistan at the request of Afghan authorities.
Isaf is a stabilization and security force. This means that the Norwegian soldiers and their colleagues in Isaf are in Afghanistan to help the Afghan people – not to control them.
The long term goal is that the Afghan authorities and the people themselves should be able to take reponsibility for their own security and development,
so that the Isaf can be reduced and eventually pull out of the country.
Norway withdrew its commitment from the Quick Reaction Force in Mazar-e Sharif in the summer of 2008. The 235 troops stationed there withdrew effectively from June 30th 2008.
This withdrawal is part of an ongoing reorganization process in which the Norwegian-led Provincial Reconstruction Team, PRT, in Meymaneh will be strengthened.
The redeployment of the Norwegian Special Forces (Telemark Batalion) from Mazar e-Sharif to Meymaneh was completed on July 18th 2008.
By the end of 2008, about 615 soldiers were dispatched in Afghanistan. In comparision, as of October 17th 2008, Norway had 526 soldiers dispatched in international operations on a global basis.
Some 465 of these were dispatched to the Norwegian-led PRT in Meymaneh. This PRT also has 111 Latvian soldiers under Norwegian command.
Norway has staff officers and a National Support Element in Mazar e-Sharif, staff officers in the ISAF HC in the Regional Command-North, RC-N,
and staff officers in ISAF HQ in RC-C (Kabul). In addition to this, 150 Norwegian Special Forces are located around Kabul.
Around ten men and women work at the Kabul International Airport to send supplies, personnel and material out to the PRTs across Afghanistan.
For more information, please explore the official website of the International Security Assistance Force:
or visit Afghanistan-portalen (in Norwegian):
As a country with a long history of contributing foreign aid, Norway has been involved in humanitarian aid in Afghanistan for the past thirty years.
Up until the fall of Taliban in 2001, this support was channelled through the UN, the Afghanistan Support Group and through various NGOs.
Today, the Afghanistan Reconstruction Trust Fund, ARTF, is an important channel for Norwegian funds.
Also, the three most important Norwegian NGOs in Afghanistan are vital.
Afghans in Norway
The number of Afghan immigrants in Norway (per January 2011) is 12 043.
Out of these, 2867 have Norwegian citizenship.
For statistics, visit Statistics Norway:
In 2010, 1045 Afghans were granted citizenship, and 576 were granted permanent residency in Norway.
For statistics, visit UDI: